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Burglary suspect pops out of victims' closet holding stolen AR-15

Jeff Bobo • Jan 30, 2018 at 6:00 PM

CHURCH HILL — Police said a Hawkins County couple were shocked Sunday morning when a burglary suspect exited their bedroom closet holding an AR-15 rifle which had been stolen from behind the victims’ bed.

Shortly before 9 a.m., Amelia Bush apparently interrupted a burglary in progress at her home on Shipley Road near Church Hill, but she didn’t realize the burglary was still in progress until after an officer had responded to the scene and left.

Bush told the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office that when she arrived home Sunday morning she discovered someone had been in the residence, plugged a phone charger into a bedroom outlet and put some dishes in the bedroom.

She also noticed that an AR-15 belonging to her boyfriend, Carlon Collier, was missing, as was a magazine containing 20 rounds of ammunition.

Bush called her boyfriend to make sure he hadn’t been home or taken the rifle, and upon learning he hadn’t, she called 911.

Before the HCSO arrived, a woman driving a black Xterra reportedly drove by and asked Bush if she had seen a black man in the vicinity.

Bush said she hadn’t, but there was a bag of clothes on her porch. The woman, later identified as Melinda Morrison, said the clothes belonged to the man she was looking for, and Morrison took the bag.

HCSO Deputy Bobby Moffitt arrived and conducted an investigation about the stolen rifle. Collier arrived while Moffitt was at the residence, and the officer left after completing his investigation.

About five minutes after Moffitt had gone, Hawkins County 911 received another call from the Bush/Collier residence that a black man holding an AR-15 was in the bedroom closet.

Collier reportedly yelled for Bush to get out of the residence, and the suspect, later identified as Timothy Tyone Booker, 30, 126 Bright Road Lot 5, Church Hill, ran out the back door.

Collier retrieved a handgun and chased Booker, who was still carrying the loaded AR-15, but lost sight of him.

Collier told officers the suspect was a black male wearing jeans and a white T-shirt and was headed toward a nearby mobile home park on Bright Road.

Several officers converged on the mobile home park about a half-mile from the victims’ residence. Those officers included Moffitt, Deputy Hunter Newton, Cpl. Mike Lipe, and CHPD Officer Daniel Byington.

A resident of the trailer park called 911 and reported seeing a black male running to a residence at the rear of the park. Deputies identified the mobile home with a black Xterra parked outside and muddy footprints on the steps.

Morrison came to the door and stated that her boyfriend (Booker) had just come in with a rifle.

The rifle was recovered, and Booker was found hiding in a bedroom closet.

Booker was charged with aggravated burglary, theft over $1,000, evading arrest and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

He was also found to have multiple outstanding fugitive warrants from Fulton County, Ky., where he was accused of violating probation by removing a GPS monitor, failure to pay fines and fees and illegally leaving the county.

Booker also has multiple arrest warrants from Weakley County, Tenn., for probation violation.

Booker was arraigned Monday in Hawkins County Sessions Court and remains held without bond.

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